Last Updated: December 10, 2014
Warung Kampung is a newly opened nasi padang restaurant by a husband and wife team. It is also their first foray into F&B and they bring with them delicious and affordable nasi padang. The restaurant’s location is quite obscure in the maze-like basement of Clarke Quay Central – one tip is to look out for the more prominent shop, Sticky, otherwise you might just walk past it and missed it.
The restaurant’s decor is homely and bare except for the one wall that is plastered with the green paddy field of Medan’s. We liked how clean and homely the entire place is. Warung Kampung’s usual pricing format goes by set. However, for the tasting, we piled on a little more than the usual – just so we can have more variety. Their set meals come with 1 meat/seafood + 2 types of vegetables + rice. Anything more is chargeable by per portion.
Chicken Set ($6.40). For the chicken set, we had chicken rendang, sambal brinjal and sambal long beans atop of fragrant white rice. We also added extra portion of BBQ chicken ayam panggang ($3/portion) and sambal sotong ($3.40/portion).
The chicken rendang was good, fresh chicken meat covered in thick and not too spicy coconut based. We much prefer the chicken rendang over the beef rendang, chilli lovers might want to mix in extra sambal terasi.
Both the vegetables share the same sambal, the brinjal was done well, not too soggy nor oily and the sambal had a good balance of spices and salty – the saltiness came from the prawns added into the sambal.
What really blew us away was the BBQ chicken ayam panggang (grilled chicken) – the meat was juicy and fresh and well marinated. That black sweet glaze on the grilled crispy chicken’s skin, I think I can easily polish off half a dozen pieces of this on my own.
Sambal Long Bean ($1.20/set, $1.50/individual portion). The long bean was nicely fried and had a good crunch to it. The home-made sambal gave it the extra fragrance and spicy kick with its mix of chilli, spices and prawn. The sambal’s spiciness is not so much that it covers the distinct taste of prawns. I wished they sold this sambal separately.
Sambal Sotong ($3.50/portion). The sambal chilli used in this dish is a little more stronger and robust with its flavours – spicy, sour and sweet, the sourish notes of the sambal compliments this seafood dish. The sotong was not overcooked and retained its succulent crunchy texture. Size of sotong was a little small but the generous portion serving size makes up for it.
Sambal prawns set ($6.90). For this set, we had sambal prawns, sayur lodeh, perkedel with additional portion of chicken rendang and telur belado ($1.20/portion). The sweet onion and spicy-sour samba goes well with the half-peeled prawns. Sayur lodeh, which is curry vegetables, were of a nice crunch and the curry wasn’t too heavy on the coconut milk.
While the curry vegetables were satisfying, the perkedel (fried potato cake) was slightly lacking as we couldn’t find the usual sinful mouthful bite that potato cake brings. We quite enjoyed the telur belado (sambal fried hard boiled egg) as the sambal gave an otherwise boring fried hard boiled egg added flavours with its spices.
Sambal Terasi. We believe no nasi padang meal is complete without its accompanying sambal. There are many version of sambal terasi and Warung Kampung makes its sambal terasi from scratch and which is hand grinded with a mortar. The fragrant sambal takes about an hour to make daily and although spicy, it is super shiok. Must try for chilli lovers.
Homemade honey lemon (add on $0.80 to set meal). Simple and homely, this honey lemon drink sort of acts as a neutraliser to those who might find the combinations of all the sambals too spicy.
Satisfying and affordable nasi padang in Clarke Quay, we’re pretty sure we’ll be swinging by quite often. Their homemade sambal and rempah (spice paste) is definitely worth the little maze walk you might have to walk through before finding their restaurant.